Zenos hybrid product under consideration
Source : Zenos hybrid product under consideration
Sports car maker Zenos embarks on £250,000 research project to build a prototype hybrid variation of its E10R
A Zenos hybrid product based on the E10 R can be being considered, along with also Zenos can be working on a hybrid powertrain system which could find its way into its production sports car from the future.
The Norfolk-based sports car company has found considerable acclaim for its range of E10 lightweight machines. This particular has currently received a government grant to build a prototype hybrid variation of the E10 R, that has a manual gearbox, as part of a nine-month research along with also development project.
The funds, worth a total of £250,000, come via Niche Vehicle Network’s SME & Supply Chain Development competition, which gives grants to projects within the low-volume vehicle industry.
Zenos will work alongside battery management firm Hyperdrive Innovation, transmission specialists Vocis Driveline Control along with also engineering company Cosworth to research ways of adapting Ford’s Ecoboost engine into a hybrid system. The production E10 range can be currently powered by the 2.3-litre Ecoboost unit.
Mark Edwards, Zenos’ managing director, said the firm didn’t have a firm hybridisation strategy, nevertheless was aware which increasing emissions regulations meant niche vehicle manufacturers had to look to the future to ensure they comply with targets.
So far the lightweight nature of Zenos’ lineup has meant combustion engine power has been able to meet all the targets, nevertheless which can be unlikely to continue.
“This particular’s something which we would certainly be foolish to ignore,” Edwards said. “This particular can be an R&D project, so This particular’s our first step in evaluating what options might be suitable for future vehicles.
“A lot of people have looked at pure EV, nevertheless we like This particular [hybrid] because This particular still has the smell, feel along with also noise of a traditional gasoline solution nevertheless does offer the efficiency benefits. Emissions targets are only going to one way.”
The complexity of modern hybrid systems mean which simply using a full Ford system isn’t viable, Edwards said.
“We can’t just use a Mondeo ECU for example, because This particular’s embedded with so many systems within the Ford car. You have to start developing your own control systems to work with the hardware, be This particular an engine or a battery system.”
Edwards stressed the project wasn’t a firm commitment to put a hybrid Zenos into production.
“We’re aware which there are challenges a few, 10, 15 years out which we have to meet along with also we have to start looking at them,” he explains. “We’re not saying which the next Zenos will be a hybrid vehicle. This particular could well be the case, nevertheless This particular’s not a signal of a particular intention.
“If This particular does work, along with also This particular’s economically viable, then This particular could give us a path to further longevity, nevertheless This particular doesn’t transform our brand position or volume aspirations.”
Sunderland-based Hyperdrive Innovation, which supplies battery management systems to a range of different vehicle manufacturers, will look to market a finished hybrid system to some other carmakers once the R&D project with Zenos can be completed. The company This particular week also secured use of Nissan’s Leaf battery technology to develop electric vehicle solutions to third parties.
A separate pitch via Zenos got This particular awarded further funds via Niche Vehicle Network’s R&D Project competition to develop a completely new way of eking out extra power along with also fuel efficiency via its turbocharged engines. The £125,000 grant will fund a research project with two some other firms, Air Cycle Technology along with also Specialist Control systems, to design along with also build a prototype turbo expansion system which uses active charge cooling.
This particular will be a piece of electronically controlled hardware which sits between a turbocharger along with also the engine along with also cools charged air using advanced thermodynamics. Zenos hopes This particular will allow more boost along with also therefore more power via the Ecoboost engine, while also reducing emissions along with also improving fuel economy.
Edwards said the two projects, if successful, could conceivably combine from the future.
Zenos has previously benefited via similar grants from the past, including one which allowed This particular to develop the recycled carbonfibre tub which This particular uses from the E10. Edwards said such grants were vital from the niche vehicle industry.
“They’re massively important,” he said. “Every company like us has its own product along with also development capital availability, nevertheless which has to almost exclusively be spent on managing the life cycle of current products along with also developing completely new products. There just isn’t cash available to put into these risky, might-work-might-not projects. This particular enables more blue-sky project to be undertaken by niche companies as opposed to pure product development.
“We are hugely grateful along with also benefit very greatly via these projects, This particular enables us to try something different along with also bring something different to the market for the future.”
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